I will first begin with by saying that this entry is based on what we feel is best for our family. I'm not putting anyone down for their decisions. Our decisions were based on Adams and my own opinions. I also understand that some people can't avoid certain things. Kiley and August, out of necessity had to attend pre-school for a few months before Kindergarten.
Since Emily and Julia turned 3 I have been frequently asked when they would start pre-school. My usual answer is "They're not". More often then not people have seemed irritated or downright angry at my response. "Well how do you expect them to be ready for Kindergarten?" "How are they supposed to learn any social skills?" "How will they learn to write their names and read?" "How will they learn how to sit in a chair and be quiet?"
I have been puzzled by the notion that pre-school can better socialize your child in preparation for elementary school. I can't for the life of me understand how other children lacking social skills can help each other learn to be social. In every other aspect of learning, the one learning is taught by someone who is more experienced and educated on the subject. My children are learning social skills from me and my husband, their siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles etc. They have an opportunity to then use those skills with other children their own age, when they encounter them at the park, birthday parties or other kid friendly places. I think they have a greater opportunity for socialization because we are always on the go. They socialize with people at the store, at the library, the park, on walks.
In my opinion I think they have excellent social skills for being only 3 1/2 years old. They can communicate well. They can hold a fairly good conversation. They say hello and goodbye when they are talked to (most of the time).
I have heard all sorts of stories from people I know, who's children are hit, bit, pushed, kicked and hurt at pre-school or their children are constantly sick. I don't want my girls to learn these types of social skills, nor do I want to pay to have my kids catch the flu.
I know 5 year olds, 6 year olds, 15 year olds, 18 year olds, and even some 30 year olds who attended pre-school who have horrible or zero social skills.
In my opinion it seems like there is a greater increase in behavioral problems among children now. There is separation anxiety because children under 5 still need a lot of nurturing from their mothers.
I think Emily and Julia will have no problems fitting right into Kindergarten when they are 5. Without spending an arm and a leg, we have taught them many things a lot of which would be included in a pre-school.
It has been very easy to teach them how to sit. They eat at the kitchen table with us several times a day and have to sit in their chairs. They have quiet reading time on their blankets. Most of the time they do what they are told.
Maybe it helps that I really don't care if other kids read at 18 months or if they can write an essay at 4 years old.
In my opinion, suggesting that pre-school is a better alternative than one on one teaching by me and Adam, is ignorant. To say a stranger, stressed out by a bunch of children is more adept to teach my girls how to write their names, just confuses me. The joy Adam and I receive when we are teaching our girls is one of the best feelings. It's indescribable how it melts your heart when one of the kids looks at you after they just figured out how to do what you've been teaching them. I don't want any stranger to get those small precious moments that should be ours.
Again, my blog is mostly based on how we have decided to raise our children, along with our adventures, and a few off subject topics. I'm sure we make mistakes. I'm certain some decisions we make will not have been the best. We pay attention and learn from those who we think are successful at parenting. We also pay attention to and learn from those who we don't think are successful. Our hope is that we will train up, well rounded, respectful, hardworking, loving and successful members of society. Our desire doesn't differ from other parents. We love our children with everything we have, and only want what we feel is the best for our family.